Green tea is relatively rarely grown on organic plantations in Japan. There are many reasons for this: lack of land for new plantations, aging society, reluctance to change the cultivation methods developed by entire generations of growers (to obtain the desired taste of tea), high costs of organic production.
What is organic tea?
In certified organic farming, the owner of the plantation must comply with strict rules on the use of fertilizers and pesticides when growing tea shrubs. Every year, rigorous inspections and tests are carried out at plantations to detect possible residues of chemicals in the soil and on plants.
However, in the case of organic farming there are some additional problems like cross-contamination from neighboring conventional plantations. If organic plantations are located next to conventional plantations, there is a risk that in adverse circumstances, for example in strong winds, organic plantations may be contaminated with plant protection products used on conventional plantations. To avoid this, many organic plantations are located in isolated areas.
Our tea plantations are located deep in the mountains, surrounded by forests, and in addition all farmers in that area are engaged in organic farming. The potential for contamination of plantations has been reduced to zero here. Our teas always show no signs of impurities in laboratory tests.
Why is organic tea expensive?
Each grower cultivates shrubs under the control of an appropriate organic farming certification agency. The costs of running such an agency and testing the "purity" of plantations and products are borne by the owner of the plantation.
The mere transition from conventional to organic farming takes several years, which means that nowadays in Japan the suppliers of organic tea are growers who switched to organic farming 30-35 years ago. Our teas come from such plantations.
Not only growers, but also importers and distributors of organic tea work under the control of agencies certifying organic farming and distribution of organic products. It is the importers and distributors who bear the costs of the agencies and tests they carry out.
Much of the cost is due to how organic products are controlled and certified, but the cultivation of organic tea itself is just more expensive. It is seen especially in the case of matcha tea, which grows in almost complete shade before harvest. Growing tea without the sun and without the help of chemicals is difficult and more expensive. That is why organic matcha tea is relatively rare and expensive in Japan. If the customer comes across a cheap ecological matcha from Japan, then one should approach it with a large dose of skepticism.
Our teas come from certified organic farming and are authorized for distribution with the European organic food logo, the so-called „green leaf”.
You can read more about our pesticides tests here: